From the Desk of Sen. Giddens: Friday, March 10

State Sen. Eric Giddens (D-Cedar Falls)

The first funnel week is behind us and we’ve been busy in the Senate with late-night debates and important decisions being made. Unfortunately, some of those decisions were not in line with the highest priority concerns I’ve heard from constituents in my district.

Late at night on Tuesday, multiple anti-LGBTQ+ bills as well as the 1500-page state government reorganization bill passed out of the Senate. I voted against these bills and I am very sorry to those who have been hurt by this legislation, and for the pain and trauma these bills will cause whether or not they become law.

I’m doing all I can to fight for the issues that matter most to my constituents and focus on getting things done for our district and our state. Your voice is important, and I appreciate each and every one of you who has reached out to share your questions and concerns. Together we can still make a positive difference in the lives of Iowans despite the legislative shenanigans that distract us from the issues that more directly impact our families and communities.

It’s an honor to serve you.

Competing Priorities: The Contrast Couldn’t be Sharper

Last week, the legislature met a key procedural deadline that helps decide which bills could become law this year, and which won’t receive further consideration.

I wish I could say we had a lot to celebrate, but the fact is we don’t. My colleagues across the aisle are advancing mean-spirited and frankly dangerous bills that will make life harder for Iowa families in need, our educators, our LGBTQ youth, and more.

Many of those bad bills are still in play, while a lot of good bills have been cast aside. Here’s a quick rundown on where things stand:

All these bad bills could still become law

-Roll back child labor laws, allow minors to serve alcohol (HF 647/SF 542)

-Reduce unemployment benefits for some Iowans with larger families (SF 481)

-Add new red tape and roadblocks to food assistance for hungry families (HF 613/SF 494)

-Dictate a government-mandated price on human life for Iowans injured in trucking accidents (HF 201/SF 228)

-Ban books in public schools (SF 496) (HF 597)

-Ban school instruction on AIDS/HIV and HPV vaccine (SF 496)

-Write LGBTQ+ Iowans and families out of history and public schools (HF 348/SF 496)

-Ban healthcare for LGBTQ+ kids (SF 538/HF 623)

-Allow healthcare providers to discriminate based on religious beliefs (SF 297)

–Consolidate Governor’s power and eliminate workplace, retirement protections for workers (SF 514/HSB 126)

My Vision: Bills I’ve Co-sponsored

-Paid family leave (SF 95)

-Expanded postpartum medical care (SF 56)

-Protections and accommodations for pregnant workers and adoptive parents (SF 435)

-Equal pay for equal work (SF 396)

-Protections against wage theft (SF 122)

-Double Iowa’s earned income tax credit (SF 459)

-Affordable, accessible childcare and preschool (SF 62 and SF 310)

-Free school breakfast and lunch (SF 303)

-$267 million investment in public schools to reduce class sizes and increase student mental health services

State Senator Eric Giddens represents Iowa Senate District 38 including Cedar Falls, Hudson, Traer, Dysart, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Gilbertville, Washburn, LaPorte City and Mount Auburn. Contact Sen. Giddens at 319-230-0578 or eric.giddens@legis.iowa.gov.